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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Zero Tolerance, School Discipline, and Students with Disabilities

A new report from the US Department of Education takes aim at school discipline, particularly "zero tolerance" policies -- which sometimes fall particularly hard on ASD students.
Nationwide, data collected by our Office for Civil Rights show that youths of color and youths with disabilities are disproportionately impacted by suspensions and expulsions. For example, data show that African-American students without disabilities are more than three times as likely as their white peers without disabilities to be expelled or suspended. Although students who receive special education services represent 12 percent of students in the country, they make up 19 percent of students suspended in school, 20 percent of students receiving out-of-school suspension once, 25 percent of students receiving multiple out-of-school suspensions, 19 percent of students expelled, 23 percent of students referred to law enforcement, and 23 percent of students receiving a school-related arrest.2 [emphasis added]
  Statistics are drawn from unpublished (as of January 8, 2014) data collected by the Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) for the 2011-12 school year. Additional information and publicly available data from the CRDC can be found at